Celtic: Brendan Rodgers calls for the FFA to 'see sense' over Tom Rogic call-up

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
Tom Rogic
Tom Rogic (far right) is due to fly out for Asian Cup duty next week

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has urged the Football Federation of Australia to "see sense" and allow Tom Rogic to play against Rangers.

The midfielder, 26, is due to join up with the national squad before the Asian Cup, meaning he would miss the Old Firm game at Ibrox on 29 December.

But Celtic hope to reach an agreement with the FFA to allow Rogic to be in the Celtic squad at Ibrox.

"We hope we can find a sensible solution," said Rodgers.

"At this moment in time he's due to play his last game for us away at Aberdeen and then he's due to fly out to meet up with the Australian squad on the 27th so that would mean him missing the last game [before the Premiership winter break].

"That's not something we're overly happy about because we want to work in a relationship with the federations. I spoke with Graham Arnold, the manager, here and I had two really good days of trying to ensure relations are good between international teams and club teams.

"But you do that through working together and what is the best for each player. And we feel Tom can play and be available for the 29th and fly out after the game and meet up in Dubai on the 30th and still be there virtually a week before he's due to play his first game.

"Tom wants to play in the game but he also wants to play for Australia. It's a position the player doesn't need to be in."

'I don't think it's a sensible solution'

Rodgers is not alone in his frustration, with Hibernian boss Neil Lennon poised to lose three players - Mark Milligan, Jamie Maclaren and Martin Boyle - for the derby meeting with Hearts on 29 December.

Asked if Australia are adamant Rogic has to fly out after the Aberdeen game, Rodgers replied: "Yes. As with the other players. Neil's in a similar position in terms of he's got three players, one of them they didn't even know about until he told them.

"Again, building relations. I think Neil told them about Martin Boyle and all of a sudden he's lost him for a big derby game. I don't think it's a sensible solution if I'm being honest."

Rodgers feels it is particularly galling because Rogic frequently misses club matches because of international commitments.

"A lot of the time he's travelling to the other side of the world to play and we normally forfeit a game when he does come back because of the exertions of travelling across the world, playing for his country, coming back, the tiredness, the fatigue, everything that takes out of him," he added.

"So it's disappointing if we can't find a solution but I'm hopeful that they can see sense with it and see that they could still get their players in good preparation time and be ready for the tournament's start."

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